Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton left his team’s game at Atlanta because of a concussion. Derek Anderson finished the game, which the team lost 48-31, and it is unclear whether Newton or Anderson will start the Panthers next game against Tampa Bay on Oct. 10. What are the odds that Newton will be able to get through the league’s concussion protocol in time for their divisional showdown on Monday night?
The Severity of the Injury Can Never Truly Be Known
A concussion is an injury that may come with a variety of symptoms. For instance, Cam Newton may feel dizzy, groggy or lightheaded, but it is also possible that he feels fine physically. Instead, he may suffer from memory loss, changes in mood or other issues related to thinking or communicating with others. Therefore, even if he feels fine physically, he may not be able to return if he is suffering mentally.
Controversy Still Lingers From the Season’s Opening Night
The Panthers played the Denver Broncos on opening night of the 2016 season on national television. Several camera angles showed Newton getting hit in the head and appearing woozy after those hits. However, he was not taken out of the game for an evaluation as mandated by league policy. Critics of the NFL have used that as evidence that the league doesn’t care about concussions or player safety. Therefore, he may be treated with extra sensitivity, which could keep him out of the next game.
A Monday Game Could Increase the Odds
Having an extra day to recover and get through the protocols could increase the odds that he does clear them and start for Carolina on Monday night. However, this is only true if the injury is a mild one. Even if it is a mild concussion, the impact of previous blows to the head could enhance the severity of the current injury.
The Team Has No Control Over When He Is Cleared
It is important to note that the team has no control over whether he is cleared in time for the game or not. He will not be allowed to play again until the most current tests show his brain function is at or near his baseline. Newton will also have to be symptom free for one or more days as well. Furthermore, the player also has no say as to whether or not clearance will be granted prior to a given game. Therefore, even if Newton wanted to play, it couldn’t happen without the league’s blessing.
The Panthers May Not Want to Rush Him Back
Newton has missed games in previous seasons because of injury, and Carolina has done reasonably well in those games. It is worth noting that Derek Anderson has been a starter in the league in previous years, which means he is capable of leading the team to victory for a game or two. If letting him rest for another few days ensures his health for the rest of the season and beyond, the team may want to go easy on their franchise player. Like sportsbook reviews and free college football picks, different parties may have different agendas, which means the decision to let him play or not could be a cumulative one between the team and the player.
Cam Newton has been one of the best players in the league over the past two seasons. If he were to be hurt for any period of time, it could derail any hopes that the Panthers had of winning the NFC again this season. Therefore, it is questionable as to whether he will play this Monday, and the better question may be whether or not he will be good to go for the rest of the season.